Maria Fusco is a working-class writer who grew up during the Troubles in Belfast. This Propositions event clashes together two BBC TV plays and an artist’s film to explore the ongoing legacies of censorship, voice and socio-cultural velocity with particular reference to the BBC’s broadcasting ban of 1988 to 1994 of Northern Irish (largely Nationalist) politicians.
The event title is a quote from Reginald Maudling, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, 1970-72
Elephant – Death in the streets, homes, parks and factories of Belfast. Alan Clarke’s drama – without character or narrative and shot in a documentary style – is a shockingly frank depiction of the futility of sectarian murder. Long steadicam shots tracking the killers trouble any straightforward moral or political reading – their dispassionate gaze casting the viewer as willing voyeur, or perhaps even as accomplice.
16MM FILM – Recorded on the Melmount Road, Strabane, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland, 11th July 2001 with fast forward and slow-motion speed changes authored to VHS by the Royal Ulster Constabulary for the purposes of prosecution. Footage originally shot on 16mm film as part of Chapter and Verse (Alex Monteith, 90min, 2005) an experimental documentary about rural-border experiences of the transitional period of Na Trioblóidí-the troubles. Whilst filming, on the 11th July 2001, a 16mm film canister was confiscated from Alex Monteith in Strabane by the then Royal Ulster Constabulary (now Police Service of Northern Ireland) – this artwork is the video re-authored by the RUC from the 16mm footage.
Easter 2016 – Set in 2016 prior to the centennial of the Easter Rising at Northern Ireland’s only integrated teacher training college, a struggle develops between the principal and the security director who values security more than education.
Elephant | Alan Clarke | United Kingdom | 1989 | 39m | Descriptive English Subtitles (SDH/ Captions)
16mm Film | Alex Monteith | Ireland, United Kingdom | 2012 | 2m
Easter 2016 | Ben Bolt | United Kingdom | 1982 | 68m
Content warning: Strong physical violence